(1939-11-24) The Hero of Hogwarts
Details for The Hero of Hogwarts (Auror Odori!)
Summary: A song is sung, drinks are had, and a new friend is made.
Date: Monday November 24th, 1939
Location: The Three Broomsticks

Hogsmeade - beautiful in its own way during the summer months, but brutal during the rest of the year. Being situated in the highlands of Scotland (practically) the weather isn't exactly friendly or kind. Now that winter is drawing close, the wind outside the Three Broomsticks pub howls fiercely, and a cold, sleet-filled rain spatters down on the Wizarding village as if determined to bury it in lumpy ice before morning.

A young woman in a damp, dark green woolen overcoat is nearly blown into the pub as she enters. With a bit of force, she shuts the door behind her, leaning into it. Pulling off her hat and unbuttoning the wet outer layer, she moves down into the main room, greeting the bar tender with a faint smile: "Something warm - anything warm. Blimey, I can't even feel my fingers!"

— Sitting alone near the roaring fire the man is leaning back in his chair with his feet up on the opposite chair at the table. "Get some cheap whiskey in you and you'll be just right in no time girl." The man remarks with a chuckle, his smooth voice carrying across the pub with a tone of unshakable confidence. His unremarkable brown eyes peer across the room at her as there are very few other patrons in the place at the moment, and her entrance was hard to miss. "That and a warm fire." Gaius adds with a short nod of his head toward the chair across the table from where he sits. In his hands he holds a glass of whiskey, poured from the bottle on the table, and also a small red deck of playing cards that he shuffles with one hand casually.

"Cheap whiskey?" comes an appalled voice. "Cheap? Oh, no, that wouldn't do at all!" It was no wonder Rena looked over Brandy at first - the woman hadn't been singing, or even chatting with anyone. She'd been sipping her drink, and reading, a plate in front of her from a finished meal. "Hey Rena," she adds.

The current barkeep agrees with Brandy enthusiastically. She also remarks that she hasn't seen Rena since the whole mess at Hogwarts had been cleaned up, adding: "Please, for old time's sake - this one's on the house. My own kid's there. Nothing's too good for the hero of Hogwarts!"

The little redheaded woman looks between the barkeep, the strange man and Brandy with a hot blush, accompanied by one of those embarrassed smiles. "What ho, Brandy!" She manages. "Though… I wish people would stop calling me that." She finishes with a murmur, just under her breath. However, she does accept the good whiskey from the lady at the bar with an appreciative glance.

The stranger, did offer the chair across from him at the fire; and she is chilled to the bone. "I 'ope you don't mind." Rena says apologetically as she moves over to the chair and takes a seat. "I couldn't turn down the 'ouse offer. Wouldn't be polite after all."

— "Well…" He man begins with a smirk on his face, one that curls up slowly before he takes a slow sip from his whiskey… "If I'd have know that I was in the presence of an local legend I would have worn my fancy tie." Once more he grins before he introduces himself. "You can call my Gaius if you like."

His head tilts toward Brandy before he nods her toward the last chair around the table, a silent but all to clear invitation for the other woman to join them. "Rena and Brandy was it? Well, aren't I the lucky one tonight to meet two women such as you." His tone is jovial, if not a tab lightheaded from the whiskey, in such a ways that is more pleasant than flirting in nature. His right hand slowly continues to shuffle the deck of cards as he takes another drink.

"Stop calling you that? And just when I was working on a ballad, too!" Getting to her feet, Brandy climbs up onto her chair and (no doubt to Rena's horror) bursts into song.

The Auror Odori!
She flew to the school on an MLE broom,
So Flint's reign of terror finally went boom.
Our love for her now, it's easy to see.
The hero of Hogwarts, Auror Odori!

She jumps down from her chair after gesturing dramatically towards Rena, retrieving her glass and book. "You're never speaking to me again, are you?" she asks jovially.

"Oh, no - please," Rena objects, trying not to look utterly abashed. "I'm not a local legend. I just… Do my job. My job 'appened to be very public recently and 'ad a larger effect than it usually does. People will forget in no time!" She says with a nervous smile. There is a slight hint of "I hope-?" in that last sentence. "Pleasure to meet you, I'm sure. And yes, Rena Od—" She begins to answer Gaius' question with a warmer expression.

And then, Brandy starts singing…

Rena looks like she could just pry up a floorboard and crawl under it. Being unable to do so, she downs her full glass of whiskey in a hurry - probably too much of a hurry. She chokes a little, and cringes as though fire is burning all the way down inside. Naturally, the crowd around the pub laughingly enjoys Brandy's ballad, furthering Rena's mortification. She very nearly drops the glass onto the table beside them and just buries her face in both her hands.

Peering at her friend through parted fingers, she says muffledly: "I'm NEVER going to live this down."

— "First impressions last the longest…" When the singing begins Gaius is at first somewhat confused, then he simple looks across at Rena and raises an eyebrow in an awkward expression of utter confusion. As if the man is embarrassed for her for even being in this situation in the first place.

After watching her down her drink a grin stretches over his face once again and he sits up, reaching across the table to his bottle before refilling her glass with the cheapest of the cheap whiskey the pub has to offer. "Here girl, this will dull the senses a bit. Not that it isn't an enjoyable melody… probably will be stuck in my head for weeks in fact." The man adds with a wink.

"Ha! There's the Rena I remember from school," Brandy says with a laugh. "It's a work in progress. Still needs a little polishing," she adds, but as she comes closer her expression changing to one of horror as she sees what Gaius is pouring into Rena's glass. "Don't drink that. I can order us a bottle of Sweetwater to share."

"Yea… The Rena you got drunk that one time and we lost house points for what happened after?" Rena says, narrowing one eye at Brandy with a faint smirk. However, her hand is already on the glass poured by Gaius. Never has she appreciated a kind gesture so deeply in the moment before. "Please, I NEED it." She says simply, raising the cheap whiskey to toast the man quickly before knocking back half of the drink. If the first one burned, this one is pure fire water.

"Holy mother of…" the little redhead gasps, holding one hand to her chest in surprise at the utterly astounding sensation of burning all over. "Not sure it dulls the senses Mister Gaius - but it sure stops you from feeling anything but fire." Rena exclaims with a good-natured laugh, relaxing a little.

— The smile that spreads across his face now is overly wide and full of teeth as if the man was very much enjoying the idea that Rena was actually drinking the stuff with him. "Forgot about the song for a second though right girl?" The laugh that follows is deep and throaty before he downs the contents of his own before pouring another. "It'll put hair on your chest!" Gaius remarks again before his laughter fills the rooms. "Come on and live in the slums for a night with us Brandy Darling. It's cheap, it's fun, and it's probably not something you'll remember in the morning anyway."

"I did warn ya," Brandy answers Rena with an amused smile. "And while there's many things my da'll tolerate - including what we did to the Quidditch stands that night - drinking that swill, he'll never forgive." She gestures towards the barkeep, who nods and pulls out a fresh bottle of Sweetwater whiskey for her. "Gotta have family pride, after all," she adds, as she drops into a seat at Gaius' table.

Rena holds her tumbler steady with both hands and looks over the rim of the glass at Gaius with amused skepticism. He's apparently quite a character. She can't restrain the giggle the slips out: "I don't think I need any 'air on my chest, but…" She leans in, lowering her voice conspiratorially: "I'd better finish it quick-sharp before Brandy brings in the good stuff."

That said, she holds the glass to her lips and downs the remainder of the cheap whiskey. It makes her cringe and shake her head fast. However, when her eyes open again, she's all smiles. "I really probably oughtn't 'ave more… I'm not myself after a few. Do worse'n transfigure banners." Clearly, Rena knows what a lightweight she is, and openly admits it.

— Gaius is already in motion to refill her glass again before he stops at her request, looking to be happy to allow the woman to drink at her own speed without pressure from a man she's never met before today. "All the more for me if you're happy drinking syrup instead." He can't help but toss out a light jab though… clearly. "Never could find a taste for the stuff myself… then again, this stuff has likely killed any tastebuds I once had."

The mans gaze drifts over toward Brandy though after the comments from Rena, looking the dark skinned woman over and with quick flick of his brown eyes. "I feel like I know the Hero of Hogwarts so well already, but you remain somewhat of a mystery Brandy. A melodic one… but still."

"Syrup?" Brandy gasps. "That's slander, sir. I'll have you know no sugars are added after fermentation." She accepts the bottle that is offered to her with a smile, opening it and pouring herself a glass as she continues. "The flavor comes from the barrels we us - russian oaks, my father has a fondness for the flavor. But for the real top-shelf stuff, after it's aged in the russian barrels, it spends a shorter time in mizunara oak casks. Though - this ain't the top shelf stuff, unfortunately." She takes a sip, then sets down her glass and offers her hand over to Gaius. "Brandy Sweetwater. And you are…?"

Rena lifts her hand and speaks behind it, leaning toward Gaius: "Her family - they do this stuff for a living. Stock an' trade, yea?" She explains in a slightly raised whisper, so that he might understand the natural affront that Brandy takes to his referring to the good stuff as syrup. Not that he couldn't have gathered just as much from the long explanation given to him. She tries to avoid any hurt feelings going around if she can. It's just in her nature.

— "Gaius Amendera. Bodyguard for hire." The introduction is spoken in a somewhat matter-of-fact sort of way as he takes another sip of his drink, his eyes peering over the rim of the glass at Brandy as Rena explains the situation to him. "I am sure it is very… refined." The man adds with a smirk before he adds, "Though I hardly suspect that it would suspect that if we…" Gaius gasps theatrically, "If we mix the two together it will be the best of both worlds!" At which point the man acts as thought to reach for her bottle in order to perform the deed.

It's very clear that Gaius knows what her reaction will be to this idea. He appears to enjoy the playful torment.

Brandy groans. "Rena, he wants to ruin da's whiskey with his swill." She slides her bottle closer to her, protectively. "You sir are clearly a scoundrel, and a knave," she chides.

Rena breaks out into a fit of giggles once more, her dark eyes sparkling with mirth. She doesn't think the man could really mean any harm - and, for her part, she finds his antics entertaining.

"'ere now, maybe I can 'elp keep the peace and settle things." She says, sitting up with her glass in hand. "I'll be the sacrificial volunteer and 'ave a glass made up of 'alf and 'alf. Like this fellow says," she nudges her chin in Gaius' direction, "Best of both worlds, yea? What's the 'arm?"

All the harm in the world, Brandy will undoubtedly think to herself.

— He seems all to eager now that Rena appears to be playing along as well. "Yea? Wat's da Arm?" His best approximation of her delightful accent being spoken to Brandy as he grins and nods in her direction. "You never know until you try. For all we know it could bring about world peace!" Gaius presses his lips together like a child eagerly awaiting approval from his parent, his eyes glittering with apprehension.

Brandy watches Rena with a considering expression. It's actually not the harm to her dad's whiskey she's pondering - it's her friend. She opens the bottle back up, however, and offers to pour as she adds, "I'm walking you home, though. Aye? Staying in the cottage tonight?"

The redhead's expression dims ever so slightly for a moment, and she nods: "Yea, staying there, tonight. Needed a break from London." It isn't much of an explanation - but then, she doesn't really need to give one. In Hogsmeade, it's easy to forget the war for a little while, protected as it is from Muggle eyes.

The smile returns quickly, and Rena holds out her glass, tilting it between Gaius and Brandy with an impish glint in her eyes: "Well now, which goes into the glass first? Quality from the ladies side, or sheer brawn from the gents' side? Either way, this thing is liable to turn my 'air pink."

— "Age before beauty? Isn't that the old saying?" The bottle of cheap whiskey is tilted into the glass held out by Rena even as the man grins. Once completed he brings the bottle to his own cup and refills it as well. "Honestly girl, If this doesn't knock your socks off I don't know what would." Gaius leans back in his chair and places the bottle back on the table, his eyes shifting once more to Brandy with an expectant gaze.

Brandy lets out a sigh, then glances around furtively - as if to make sure no one from her family is lurking in the shadows. Once she's sure 'the coast is clear' - she pours some whiskey from her bottle into the glass as well. "Well. Cheers, I suppose," she remarks, lifting her own glass towards the other two.

"It better not knock my socks off!" Rena exclaims with a sense of feigned horror. "These stockings are brand new, they are!" She adds, lifting her skirt hem slightly and flexing her foot to show off the new silks. Then, accepting the other, cleaner, more pure half of the whiskey from Brandy, the little redhead cheerfully gives her glass a delicate swirl. Holding it up in a cheer to the whole pub in general, she gives the playfully solemn toast: "For world peace!"

And down the hatch it goes. For a second, Rena cringes from the burn - as would be expected - seemingly waiting for worse to come. But then, she brightens up, arches an eyebrow and finishes the remainder of the glass. A rather sharp hiccough follows thereafter, and she hides a giggle behind her hand.

"Tha…wasn't as bad as i' could've been. You should really give it a try, Brandy." She says seriously, looking at Gaius. Realizing her error, she does a turn toward the woman: "What you mean moving around like that? We're not playing muzical shairss…" Her words quickly become slurred.

— "Well now… that was somewhat unexpected." Gaius remarks with a chuckle as the woman begins to sway and slur. His eyes turn back to the dark skinned woman as he adds, "Looks like you will br carrying her out of her sooner that expected." Without thinking twice he places his glass down before reaching out to take the cup from Rena's hand. "Mind if I give it a go?" The sudden affect on the woman has him intrigued at the very least. Not that it appears as though Rena can hold her liquor to begin with, but it might be an interesting experience. "For world peace and all that."

"No. That was just about expected," Brandy responds, putting her elbow on the table and her head in her hand as she considers Rena. "Shall I teach you that song now? You can even help me make up the next verse so it can be a proper ballad! I've decided not to play musical chairs, though, just at the moment."

"Be my guest," Rena says magnanimously to Gaius, giving an exaggerated nod of approval as she gestures at the glass. She's just that generous, that one. "I don't thing is right to sing 'bout yourself, though - is it?" The younger woman asks, moving to prop her chin on her upraised hand… only to miss the table entirely with her elbow and nearly fall out of her chair. Now may not be the best time to be learning to sing ballads. She really is quite the pathetic feather-weight when it comes to alcohol. However, her reaction to the slip up is to laugh.

— The glass is taken and the drink is downed without much delay as Gaius looks at t he empty bottom of the glass and ponders, the liquid being swished around his mouth as if in a wine tasting. "Hrm…" He murmurs before swallowing in one large gulp and shaking his head. "Bizarre." Is about all the man appears to have to say about it before the results kick in, though they are much less pronounced that those shown by Rena. "Is this why people drink your family's stuff?" Gaius asks Brandy with a tilt of his head, though the tilt may look a bit more like a wobble now that he's had this much to drink.

"It is pretty strong stuff," Brandy admits. "Especially the special reserve - though that's bloody hard to get your hands on," if you're not in the family. "Goes down smooth, though. I was practically nursed on the stuff." She drinks her whiskey in sips - unlike the larger gulps her companions are taking. "Rena, am I gonna have to tie you to that chair to keep you in it? Though I suppose that could look odd - tying an auror into a chair…"

Rena wavers slightly, leaning back in her chair. She sizes up Brandy with one eye narrowed. The backward lean is enough to set the chair on its hind legs and slightly off balance. With a slight jerk, the redhead brings it back down to earth with a *Clack!* "Why, Brandy!" She says in surprise, her words still very much affected by the alcohol. "I din't know you was into that sorta thing…"

— His eyes widen slightly at the comment. What mans eyes wouldn't widen? "Um… maybe you should get your friend home darling. I would hate to see her lose her balance in that chair and tumble into the fire." Gaius grins slightly. "It could be catastrophic considering all the stuff she just drank."

Turning back to Rena the man leans in and lifts a hand, poking her nose with his finger playfully. "Boom! The tearful end of the Hero of Hogwarts." This idea does bring a genuine laugh from the man as he takes another drink of his whiskey.

"Rena, love, there's plenty you don't know about me," Brandy answers, clearly more amused by the auror's comment then embarrassed by it. "Isn't she a kick when she's like this? Well - she's always a kick. It's just, you know, a different kind." She takes another sip. "Are you ready to go back? Though you really shouldn't try leaning back right now. He's right about that."

The poke causes Rena's nose to wrinkle slightly, and she giggles at the exclamation, repeating: "Boom!" Oh yes, she is more than three or four sheets to the wind at this point.

"Ooh, I suppose…" the redhead relents, her features lapsing into a bit of a pout. "I better go 'ome an' sleep some off as they says." Rising to her feet, she seems scarcely able to keep her own balance without holding herself up on the table at first. However, she does get her unsteady footing after a second. "Well, Mister Gaius, it's been a pleasure," she says, trying hard not to slur. "I'd offer to shake your hand, but I don't think I'd know whish one is yours if I tried."

— "A wave will do just fine then. It was a pleasure to meet you both. Enjoy your restful sleep at the hands of cheap whiskey." Gaius smirks as he lifts a hand to wave as he watches the two make their way from the pub. His eyes not leaving the pair as he returns to quietly shuffling his cards and drinking by the fire.

Brandy looks towards the bartender, tapping her bottle of whiskey. She gets a nod in response, as she leaves it there, taking Rena by the arm to lead her out, with her book in her other hand. The bottle would soon be retrieved and tucked away behind the bar, as Brandy makes sure she retrieves Rena's coat and gets her wrapped against the sleet outside, before the pair step out into the foul weather.

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